As much as I love running outside, sometimes if there is snow or ice on the ground, I will hit the treadmill – and enjoy it!
Recently even though the temperature hasn’t dipped below freezing, I have found myself heading to the treadmill more and more often.
I notice that I can go faster on the treadmill and rather enjoy that adrenaline rush.
The benefits of running on the treadmill are plenty. Treadmills offer better shock absorption. Better shock absorption is translated into less stress on your feet and knees.
In addition, the extra cushioning and smooth surface of a treadmill also allow for easier runs.
You also can adjust the incline to increase the difficulty suitable for you. You can control your pace. Oftentimes, when running outside, some runners have a hard time maintaining a consistent pace and end up running faster or slower than they wanted.
Treadmill running can be far from boring or hard, as many people like myself used to believe. These are some easy tips to follow for an enjoyable run indoors:
Make sure you take the time to warm up and cool down.
Make sure you take the time to warm up and cool down. (Photo: ShotShare, Getty Images)
1. Make sure to take 5 to 10 minutes to warm up. You might be tempted to jump on and power through, but it is important to run or walk at a slow easy pace to begin with. Also, I have noticed when I am travelling that not all treadmills are the same, so it is best to get acclimated to the machine first.
2. Set the treadmill inclination to 1% or 2%, at most. Since there’s no wind resistance indoors, a gentle uphill will simulate outdoor running. Of course, if are just starting out, it is fine to leave the incline at 0%. Even some days when I am doing an easy recovery run, I will leave it at 0%.
3. Never hold onto the handrail – it can be dangerous. The handrails are only there to ensure you safely get onto and off of the treadmill. Remember proper form is to mimic your outdoor running posture, with your arms at a slight 90-degree angle.
4. Pay attention to your stride. Don’t lean forward and make sure to keep your body upright. Keep your stride quick and short to help minimize the impact transferred to your legs. Whatever you do, don’t look down or stare at your feet. The best posture is to look straight ahead.
5. If you are running for a long time, make sure to stay hydrated. Keep a bottle of water within reach, but make sure you first step off of the treadmill, so that you are not drinking while running on the treadmill.
6. Take the time to cool down. While it might be tempting to hop off the treadmill immediately, remember your heart rate is still at an elevated level. It’s important to spend at least 5 minutes doing a cool down – whether it is a slow jog or walk at the end of your run. The small amount of time you spend doing so will prevent dizziness and ensure the body is prepared to move on.